Animal Demography Unit
Photo Kathy Calf
Kittlitz's Plovers have a large distribution over Africa where it is found as far north as along the Nile valley to Madagascar. In southern Africa it is found in habitats of dried mud and short grass. These habitat types have increased as a result of the construction of saltworks, overgrazing pastures, ploughing fields and the creation of impoundments with gently sloping shorelines have enabled Kittlitz's Plover to increase in both range and abundance. Kittlitz's Plovers have been recorded to migrate up to thousands of kilometres, inland birds often moving in response to habitat type availability, but coastal populations appear to be fairly sedentary.
Kittlitz's Plovers nest mostly from August to December. They usually lay two eggs in a small scrape in the sand. Their nests can be particularly difficult to find because they bury their eggs when disturbed during incubation. In addition to protecting the eggs from potential predation, this behaviour can protect the eggs from the heat of direct sunlight when the adult is not incubating. The eggs take about a month to hatch and the chicks between four and five weeks to fledge.